I’m always impressed by how shonen fighters can be so self-aware that they can calculate exactly how much of their strength they’re using at any given time. I can understand having a general idea of the basic fraction - - I’m using half, now, and I used a quarter earlier - - but once dudes like Toguro start getting into precise percentages, it starts seeming more… clinical than you’d expect from such instinctual guys. Hell, I just ran an obstacle race this weekend and I’ve got no way of telling you how far I was from my limit.
So, sooner or later, I’m expecting this show will start actually breaking out the XP counters. That’s probably what those un-translated captions that introduce every new character and attack are all about.
We’ve arrived, at last, at the start of the much-ballyhooed “Dark Tournament” saga. I’m so pleased to find that it’s got the added dimension of all these reprobates getting invited to a mystery island. From ENTER THE DRAGON to MORTAL KOMBAT, I’m always a sucker for that sort of premise. It also looks like the team competition model’s going likely to fall somewhere between those of KING OF THE FIGHTERS and the old school SURVIVOR SERIES, so this is just hitting all four pillars of entertainment for me. It’s already pumping up the absurdly macho “preposterone” I like so much with Toguro’s latest bout of shirtless threats and the ridiculous barrage of punches Yusuke endures while hanging from a cliff edge with two balls-and-chains on his ankles. The latter makes Rocky’s whole stroll up the Philly art museum’s steps look like some soft training by comparison.
There actually were a fair number of moments to chew on in this one, from Kuwabara getting shot down by the ice queen to Yusuke and Keiko’s emoticon-faces introducing me to how those ass-awful 4Chan memes started. However, the most amusing part to me was Toguro’s comeback. Yeah, it wasn’t a cheat of plotting (especially considering how ridiculous the rival boss’ bet turned out,) but usually you expect there to be at least one episode before a villain’s inevitable “resurrection.”
Look up this episode, "Toguro’s Return" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.